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This gouda mac and cheese might be the best mac and cheese you’ve eaten, starring smoked gouda cheese and crunchy sourdough breadcrumbs.

Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

This post was created in partnership with ALDI. All opinions are our own.

Ready for an off-the-charts dish for entertaining? Meet our best smoked gouda mac and cheese: it had our friends begging for seconds before they were even done with firsts! This gouda mac and cheese features smoked gouda cheese, tender noodles and crunchy sourdough bread crumbs.

We made this recipe in partnership with ALDI, which is truly a one stop shop for spring entertaining. Whether you’re hosting a Sunday brunch or Easter dinner, filling kids’ baskets, or throwing a fancy dinner party, ALDI has incredible quality products at affordable prices. We got all of the ingredients — and even the saucepan we made the cheese sauce in — at our local ALDI. You are going to love this one!

COUPON & SHOPPING LIST! ALDI now delivers groceries to your door using Instacart: and we have a custom ingredient list for this recipe. You can order all the ingredients for this recipe by clicking here — just make sure to increment the Gouda cheese from 1 to 2! Then use the code ALDIACC for $10 off your first three ALDI orders on Instacart of $35 or more.

Video: How to make homemade mac and cheese

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How to make homemade mac and cheese | How to make creamy mac and cheese

A note on ALDI products

You’ll see we’ve used all ALDI products for our gouda mac and cheese: even the pot is from ALDI! A few notes on our favorites:

  • The Crofton Speckled Saucepans are available for a limited time in stores starting 4/3!
  • The Specialty Selected Sourdough Bread is award winning. It was chosen by customers in a national survey as 2019 Product of the Year winner in the bread category (based on a survey of 40,000 American shoppers by global research agency Kantar TNS).
  • The Specialty Selected Smoked Gouda is affordable and an incredibly high quality cheese. One of our favorite places to shop at ALDI is their cheese section!
Making a roux

How to make gouda mac and cheese

How to make homemade mac and cheese? You might think it’s simple, but this smoked gouda mac and cheese has a few techniques that are important to master. First, watch the video above! Then, read through our pointers for making the best gouda mac and cheese you’ll ever have.

  • How to cook pasta to al dente? Cooking pasta too long is a common mistake in the kitchen. To cook pasta to al dente, check the package instructions and then start tasting your pasta a few minutes before that! (The timing listed on many packages results in rubbery pasta.) You want to catch the pasta right when it goes from crunchy to tender. It should still be slightly firm inside–but not crunchy!
  • How to make a roux? A “roux” is flour and butter cooked together and used to thicken sauces. It’s usually made from equal parts of flour and butter. You’ll cook the butter and flour together until they start to turn light brown, then add milk and cheese to the sauce. Check out the video to see me make the roux for this gouda mac and cheese!

Related: Stovetop White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Smoked gouda mac and cheese

And that’s how to make gouda mac and cheese!

Now, all of this results in a rich, creamy mac and cheese that is bursting with flavor. It’s lightly smoky from the smoked gouda mac and cheese, and crunchy from the sourdough bread crumbs. It’s sure to be a crowd pleasing dish anywhere you take it! Alex and I served it to friends and all of them absolutely raved about it. Since it’s cheesy and gooey and makes a huge pan, the serving size here is for 12 people. It’s perfect to serve alongside Sauteed Broccoli and a huge Radish Chopped Salad.

Or, want to make it a main dish? Serve it with a green salad or steamed broccoli! Head to 10 Best Sides to Serve with Mac and Cheese for our favorites.

Want to try it? Are you an ALDI fan? Let us know if you head to ALDI and make this recipe! Tell us in the comments below or tag us on Instagram: @acouplecooks and @aldiusa.

Smoked gouda mac and cheese

Looking for easy entertaining recipes?

This gouda mac and cheese is perfect for spring entertaining (like an Easter dinner). Here are a few more side dish recipes for entertaining:

Gouda & sourdough bread crumbs

This recipe is…

This gouda mac and cheese recipe is vegetarian. For gluten free, use gluten free pasta.

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Smoked gouda mac and cheese

Best Gouda Mac and Cheese

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 to 12 1x
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This gouda mac and cheese might be the best mac and cheese you’ve eaten, starring smoked gouda cheese and crunchy sourdough breadcrumbs.



NEW! Order all the ingredients below in one click (just make sure to increment the Gouda cheese from 1 to 2!)

For the bread crumb topping

  • 2 medium slices Specialty Selected Sourdough Bread
  • ⅛ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

For the gouda mac and cheese

  • 1 pound short pasta of any type (shells, macaroni, fusilli, or penne — we used Priano Pipe Rigate Pasta)
  • 14 ounces Specialty Selected Smoked Gouda
  • 3 tablespoons Countryside Creamery Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¾ cups 2% milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Paprika, for garnish (optional)


  1. Toast the bread slices until golden brown and crispy: place the bread slices on a baking sheet and broil for several minutes, turning a few times, or use a toaster oven or toaster. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until the bread becomes the consistency of bread crumbs. Then add the mustard powder, thyme, and salt and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to liberally salt it. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (start tasting the pasta a few minutes before the package instructions and stop cooking once the pasta is just tender but still firm). Then drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it quickly with warm water.
  3. Meanwhile, grate the smoked gouda and measure out the butter, flour, milk, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  4. (See the video below for this part!) In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium heat; when it melts, stir in the flour. Heat the mixture for several minutes, stirring constantly. Immediately when the color starts to turn light brown, reduce the heat to low. Start to add the 1 ¾ cups milk very slowly, whisking constantly until the mixture is completely smooth, then adding more milk. Add the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder, and continue cooking on low heat for about 2 minutes to thicken slightly, whisking frequently.
  5. After 2 minutes, gradually add the grated cheese and keep stirring until it is melted: it will be very thick and sticky once all the cheese is added. Then add 1 cup milk and stir until incorporated and a creamy sauce forms: a few bits of unmelted cheese are okay (see the video below).
  6. Place the pasta in an even layer in a 9 x 13” serving dish, then pour the cheese sauce on top. Top with the breadcrumbs and broil it for 2 to 4 minutes until lightly browned, turning the pan to even out the browning as necessary. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Julie says:

    Why do you not use whole milk? Seems that would make it richer?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You are welcome to!

  2. Cathi says:

    This is the best Mac and Cheese I’ve ever eaten. My husband and I could not stop marveling at the pure deliciousness of it!! This will be a featured menu item for Christmas dinner at our house, along with your best green bean casserole, crisp apple salad, and Christmas punch!! I seriously can’t get enough of your recipes. So delicious!!!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Thank you! This is such a kind comment. Merry Christmas!

  3. Brianna says:

    Delicious recipe! Have made it a few times exactly as written.

  4. Jennifer Monsalve says:

    I made this tonight and it was so so so good!!!!!! I’ll definitely be making it again!!

    1. Sonja says:

      We are SO so glad to hear it!!! Thanks for making it Jennifer!

      1. Michael says:

        I made this to bring to my mom’s for Easter and it was so good right off of the stove!
        I brought it to her house in tupperware, poured it in a casserole dish, added breadcrumbs, and browned/reheated it in the oven, and it was too dry when I brought it out.
        I’d love to bring this to family dinners. Any suggestions for making it and reheating it?

        1. Sonja Overhiser says:

          Great question! Here’s what we’d do: The best way to reheat the mac is actually on the stovetop. Place it in a pot and add a splash of milk. Heat it over medium heat until it’s creamy again. Then you can pour it into a pan and add that breadcrumb topping!